Skip to main content

Full text of "Verdict On India"

See other formats

can't be long now/
*I hope not.'   The pain was rapidly becoming unendurable.
'He may be quite a good chap* These village doctors often are/
A servant shuffled in with a hurricane lamp and set it on the
table by the camp bed.
4 Is that all the light they can nmuage ?*
* Afraid so/
* Supposing he has to operate ?"
'Don't be morbid/
* Well, look at the damned thing!'
The damned thing was* my foot. It was not a pretty sight.
There was a purple ulcer on the heel which was suppurating
badly, and the poison had spread up to the knee. If you put
your finger in the flesh it left a mark as though you had pressed it
into putty. And only a week ago they had discharged me from
hospital as cured !
An author's ache* and pains are the very last thing which—if
he has any sense—he should offer for sale to the public ; we have
all quite enough of our own. However, this is such a personal
record that it would be hardly possible to avoid all mention of this
illness, for it was to last, on and off, for four months, involving me
in several operations and a number of grotesque situations.
More important, it was to teach me much about the country and
its people. Catherine Mayo, of Mother India fame, wrote at length
about Indian hospitals, but she might have changed some of her
views if she had seen as much of them as I did, from the inside.
She had a number of wise things to say about the medical pro-
fession, but her remarks might have been even more penetrating
if» like me, she has been carried upside down on a stretcher
drenched with blood and ether into a Bombay ambulance through
the middle of a religious procession whose followers appeared to
regard one as a blood sacrifice.